housing rollercoaster

April 14th, 2007

Here’s an innovative data visualization method — somebody has mapped values of housing prices onto a roller coaster animation using “Roller Coaster Tycoon 3”. This, combined with the New York Times’ recent advice* and excellent rent v. buy cost comparison, make me feel slightly better about not being a home owner right now.


* A side note: I’m so proud of the New York Times these days. Check out that article — not only is it aesthetically well presented, but it’s seamlessly integrated with an interactive web/flash app and a discussion board. This is top-drawer, cutting-edge internet-savvy news presentation on display here.

3 Responses to “housing rollercoaster”

  1. Derek has a great post up about his Marathon experience. No, not like an athletic event. I thought this was lame at first, but then liked it: via Ldopa.net Real Estate Roller Coaster OMG can blogging make me rich?! via ModernLife I’m tempted to write a full rant about this due to what I saw last Sunday night. Stupid DPT. So far I don’t see what the big deal is with all of these

  2. kenneth says:

    Whoa, weird- I had no idea that by adding a tag to a random post on my site that it (blosxom? technorati?) would auto-comment on your site. Sorry if that’s a problem Jeff.

  3. Carrie says:

    You know I had to weigh in on this one.

    I like the roller coaster metaphor, it’s a great illustrative device, with an angle sympathetic to people who are having trouble entering the housing market or stand to get in trouble when the housing market drops.

    The rent vs. buy calculator, reassuring though it is, is based on the assumption that you have the same amount of money, and could totally afford to buy a house, but instead you’ve invested the same amount of money you would have spent paying the mortgage and down payment. (Under methodology, they cite ‘opportunity cost’ which is all about having the money to do something else with). I think this method is pretty bunk in this application. It’s not really rosy like that interactive graph implies for those of us who rent because we can’t afford to buy, and are therefore not running around with the quote-unquote ‘extra’ dough investing it instead. We’re buying groceries with it, and light, and heat and just plain not having the rest. Silly us.

    By the way, Evan, I think the media has been responding to the sub-prime mortgage lending failures with reasonable alarm. Also, though I’d never considered spates of foreclosures flooding the rental market before, I think lower home prices usually just result in lower rental prices. All bets are off in a crash though. And, just to reiterate what I’ve been saying for several years now, I do think we’re facing a housing crash.